04 May 2018

NSW Health is encouraged by the large number of health workers and the community who are getting their flu jab early ahead of winter.

More than a million doses of the influenza vaccine for national and state programs have been received by doctors and clinics over the past month.

A further 90,000 doses of state-funded vaccine have also been distributed for the vaccination of NSW Health frontline staff.

Staff at Concord Hospital set an early benchmark for colleagues across the state with more than 1350 workers having their flu jab in one day.

Dr Vicky Sheppeard, Director of Communicable Diseases, said local health districts have been holding events to encourage people to get vaccinated and provide them with tips to reduce the spread of flu.

“We had one of the worst flu seasons on record last year causing more than 650 flu-related deaths,” Dr Sheppeard said.

“Already we’ve seen great community uptake across the state. In Dubbo recently, around 800 people got their flu shot at an event hosted by Western NSW Local Health District.”

The NSW Government has invested $22.75 million on statewide immunisation programs in 2017-18, including $3.5 million for free flu shots to children up to five years of age.

Local Health Districts are currently implementing their winter plans for hospitals, which include vaccinating their frontline health staff and promoting additional good hygiene practices.

“The flu vaccination remains free for certain high-risk groups, such as pregnant women, children up to five years of age, people over 65 years, most Aboriginal people and those with conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart problems.”

“It’s in your hands to get your flu vaccination and get ready for winter”.

Four tips to counter flu:

  • get flu jab early
  • cough and sneeze into your elbow
  • clean your hands
  • stay home when sick.

For more information, see Immunisation.